July 2, 2021

Music and Marketing - Features vs Benefits

Erica Mackay

‘How You Like Me Now?’ by The Heavy is this week’s song choice. An iconic song featuring an iconic question.

Finding a link for this one was tricky, but it did get us thinking about one of the biggest mistakes that companies make when promoting their products and services. 

Your customers will form an opinion of your product or service based on how you position it… so it’s important to get this bit right. 

Sometimes, a subtle change in how we explain what our product is all about can make a big difference. 

The mistake that so many people make is to focus on listing features, when really, the main message should be all about the benefits. 

But we see you scratching your heads… What's the difference?

Features and benefits are intrinsically linked but actually very different.

In short, features encompass the what and the how of your product, whereas benefits are all about the why

Or, in other words, features tell you the facts about what your product can do, where benefits tell you how these things actually benefit a customer.

You always want to ask yourself, why should the customer care about your product or service? What problem does it solve for them? How will it improve their life?

As customers ourselves, it’s frustrating how often we see companies leading with the features and giving benefits the short shrift.

How many times have you surfed the internet for a product only to be bombarded with all the technical details and been left asking ‘so what?’

Think about… say… your mobile phone.

It might weigh 8 ounces and have dual wide cameras and optical image stabilisation – great!

Wait. What? What does that even mean?

Wouldn’t you be more likely to spend your hard-earned cash on the latest iPhone if you were told…

You will be able to take professional standard high-quality pictures with a phone that you can easily fit in your pocket

This leads us into that old, but gold, saying: ‘Sell the benefits, not the features’.

A great way to distinguish your product or service from that of your competitors and transform your customers from curious to paying is by leading with the benefits.

You can do this by following three simple steps:

1) Define what the product/service does - the features

2) For each feature, ask yourself how this will change your customers’ lives for the better - the benefits

3) When promoting your product, lead with the benefit, then back this up with the features that make it true

See how we didn’t completely disregard the features in the equation?

The best marketing involves a balance of the two (in the right order, of course!)

Connecting to what your customer wants is the most important thing – be it, for example, being happier or saving money – and then offering the what and how behind it.

Once you take on board our tips, you’ll be much more confident asking your customers: ‘How you like me now?’ (get it? 😉).

Did you like the phone analogy? There is plenty where that came from! Read our previous blog where we talk about Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ and give our tips for a great call to action.